Jeffrey Yoo Warren

Ancestral Memory Enclaves: Diasporic memory and relational reconstruction

In this workshop series, using “memory objects” – photos from personal archives of one’s family, chosen family, and/or historical records – as windows into ancestral moments, participants employ digital tools to speculatively re-create the space – and the feeling – around the view visible in each photo. Inspired by the re-existencia work of Kazakh artists Aisha Jandosova and Aida Issakhankyzy, the YA literature of Linda Sue Park, and the speculative fiction of Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster series, we talk through different approaches to remembering and being in relationship with ancestral stories – through craft, through narrative, through sensory practices and through spatial reconstruction – and their meanings to those of us with minoritized or diasporic identities seeking re-connection or re-unification.

a video of a blurry black and white photo of my mom playing in the snow in Seoul, steam rising from a chimney in the distance and fluffy snow falling slowly from a dark sky

Using relational reconstruction techniques developed in the Seeing Providence Chinatown project, each participant builds a virtual 3D space of care, based on a photo of their choosing, within an environment hosted on Mozilla Hubs.

Ancestral Memory Enclaves is facilitated by Jeffrey Yoo Warren and was first presented as part of CultureHub’s Re-Fest 2022 in partnership with AS220. Brandi Kinard assisted in facilitating Workshop 2. Work on multisensory reconstruction continues in collaboration with Ann Chen.

A video starting with a black and white photo of a group of Korean people dressed in white all posing on a riverbank, one with a shovel and the others holding ropes tied to the shovel, so that all nine can use it together. Others, including some kids, stand in the background. Houses visible across the village.


Jeffrey Yoo Warren is an artist, community scientist, illustrator, and researcher in Providence, Rhode Island.